TV Movie: “Stake Land 2”

The vampire movie is a fun genre, and usually it’s one that can be enjoyed no matter how lackluster the movie may actually be. It doesn’t have to break new ground, like so many other horror films, mainly as it never could, but it just needs to be entertaining. Fun in some way. Without that simple thing, it’s just another wasted vampire film. One that shows the genre is truly tired out.

The Dark Sky Films movie “Stake Land 2”, is a fine example of what not to do to your vampire movie, even if it’s just a TV movie.

This horror movie stars Connor Paolo (“Outlaw”, “Rush Hour (2016 TV series)”), Laura Abramsen (“Basic Human Needs”, “The Sabbatical”), AC Peterson (“Spark”, “On the Twelfth Day of Christmas”), Bonnie Dennison (“Izzie’s Way Home”, “Comedy Sketch TV Time, Okay?”), Kristina Hughes (“Ferocious”, “Little Mosque on the Prairie”), Steven Williams (“Supernatural”, “The Trust”), and Nick Damici (“Condemned”, “Dark Was the Night”).

This movie was directed by Dan Berk (“Body”, “Dispatch (TV Short 2014)”) and Robert Olsen (“Body”, “Dispatch (TV Short 2014)”) and written by Damici (“Hap & Leonard”, “Cold in July”).

The movie originally aired on Oct. 15, 2016 on SyFy.

As the month known as October continues, we come to the third weekend in the month long celebration on SyFy known as “31 Days of Halloween”, and much to my dismay, it’s a repeat of last weekend. Another less than stellar movie. The upside, I never went in thinking anything. I couldn’t even kid myself into trying to think positively. Still, once it got closer to the movie airing I started getting exited. Perhaps it’s just the fact that this is essentially a ritual for me. A reason to be excited and watch one of the network’s latest offerings. It’s basically “Sharknado Week” all over again, but with scary movies. It’s also another reason to hop on Twitter and engage with many others who enjoy these types of films. Usually that’s in the form of snarky comments, which end up being better than anything in the movie we’re collectively choosing to suffer through. I have no doubt that tonight would’ve been a good time to be a part of Twitter. As I was not, you’ll have to suffer through what little I did think of this film. It’s not good.

Um. Yeah. So about that little I thought of the film. Well, this is it.

I got nothing.

Okay, that’s not technically true, but it might as well be.

Looking back, rather quickly, at all the thoughts I had and wrote down during this film, I can’t find one kind thing to say. I barely want to say what I do have to say. It’s so painful. I got excited for nothing.

And with that, I also find that I’ve probably sealed this movies fate without having to go full on negative.

This movie, while it has a plot, is the most uninteresting and least exciting of the movies I’ve seen thus far. The plot is find Damici and survive. I think some other subplots existed somewhere in there too, but I wasn’t paying enough attention to notice what they were. Each and every one just seemed like some sort of filler crap, and could’ve easily been swapped out for some other boring subplot. This in turn lead to me being utterly bored. A couple times I had to scribble furiously on my piece of paper so as not to shout too loud and wake those in the house who were sleeping. God, stupid children!

I’d say most of this is driven by the fact that none of the characters stood out. Sure Paolo and Damici were returning players, who actually got to do something and potentially expand on what we already knew, but they might as well have been new characters that weren’t special enough to warrant anything resembling something human. It’s this that when character’s were in any danger, I couldn’t get myself to care. I wanted the vampires to win (which they didn’t). And so, I found myself going through the motions and eventually fully checking out. I think the last 30 minutes were just on. Strangely enough, or sadly, which you’ll see in a moment, I was able to start reading this new book, while listening to the final parts of this movie. That’s how boring it all was. I got the gist, but could still focus enough on the book and enjoy that more. Multitasking is one thing, but when it’s drawing so much attention from the movie, especially when I’d rather be doing the other activity more, it’s a big problem.

Okay, a few more things, and then we’re done. This movie was not scary, in the least, the vampires didn’t interest me at all, or any of the other mythology of the world these characters lived in, and it was lacking in action. A few fight scenes excited me, but not even close to the level to make this a movie I want anyone suffering through. I can’t even say with a percentage of certainty, that the blood and gore was of a decent level. I don’t think it was, so let’s leave it at that.

TV movies can’t all be winners, or the next closest thing to one. No, so many of them can only suck. No matter what kind of expectation a viewer has, there’s always the chance for supereme disappointment. Major letdown. When you can usually just accept that and enjoy the movie for what it is, it’s even harder to witness a movie that can’t even clear the lowest of bars.


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